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Ultimate Despair is the main antagonistic faction of the Danganronpa franchise. They serves as the main antagonists of both Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and the overarching antagonists of Danganronpa: Ultra Despair Girls. It was a multinational terrorist organization founded by Junko Enoshima, with its goal being to corrupt all of humanity into accepting despair.
The Ultimate Despair are essentially a cult composed of students in Class 77-B at Hope's Peak Academy who work under Junko Enoshima after being exposed to a recording of their class-rep's Chiaki Nanami's execution that, which combined with the Ultimate Animator Ryota Mitarai's editing techniques, was used to condition their heightened state of despair so that they would crave it like their leader. From there, it was a case of Junko manipulating them into acting upon those desires and joining her to forward that cause, thus leading them to rampage around the world in order to spread despair.
After their leader committed suicide, many of Ultimate Despair's members proceeded to take their own lives. The ones who survived carved up Enoshima's body and attached many of her body parts onto themselves, becoming known as the Remnants of Despair. However, the Future Foundation was able to capture them and, recognizing that they didn't entirely have a choice in what they became, inserted them into a computer simulation of a "field trip" to help ease the pain that Junko exploited, replacing the horrors they experiences at Hope's Peak with kinder memories to rehabilitate them. However, Izuru Kamukura, the Ultimate Hope and one of Ultimate Despair's leaders, uploaded an AI version of Junko into the simulation for his own reasons, allowing Monokuma to appear within it as well and attempt to reawaken their old, vicious personalities through a game of Mutual Killing.
In the endgame, Junko created a fake Makoto Naegi to make claims about Ultimate Despair. As shown in Danganronpa 3: Side - Future, the despairs weren't just mindless zombies and still had a sense of comradery with each other as various members were seen working together in the opening montage. This may only apply to people that knew each other prior to becoming Ultimate Despair, though. Even Junko and Mukuro still had a sisterly bond, and it has been stated that Junko did love Mukuro, but killed her so she could feel despair.
List of Members
- Junko Enoshima (founder and leader) - Formerly known as the Ultimate Fashionista and later the True Ultimate Despair, Junko started the Tragedy, which gave rise to Ultimate Despair. She organized a school killing game in order to spread despair, and eventually committed suicide via her own personal execution after being unmasked as the mastermind.
- Mukuro Ikusaba - Junko's twin sister, who was known as the Ultimate Soldier. She disguised herself as Junko, only to be betrayed and killed by her sister in order to be made an example of.
- Monokuma (controlled by Enoshima) - The Ultimate Despair Mascot who was created by the Towa family, not knowing what Junko planed to use them for. Junko also uses Monokuma to hide her identity and observe the killing game. He later becomes one of Junko's moles inside the Future Foundation for the Final Killing Game.
- Izuru Kamukura/Hajime Hinata (former) - A reserve course student, who became Izuru Kamukura. He was strong, silent and dismissive of his peers. After being placed in the Neo-World Program, Hajime was restored and became the hero he always sought to be.
- Kazuichi Souda (former) - Known as the Ultimate Mechanic. He has a creepy obsession with Sonia Nevermind, even going as far as to stalk her.
- Peko Pekoyama (former) - Known as the Ultimate Swordswoman, Peko was raised by the Kuzuryu Clan and is fanatically loyal to Fuyuhiko, considering herself as nothing but his tool. She is brainwashed by Junko to become a member of Ultimate Despair and continues to serve Fuyuhiko as they slaughter millions of people, including members of the Japanese Diet. She is captured by the Future Foundation where she ends up murdering Mahiru, and becomes the second person executed inside the Neo World Program, rendering her real body comatose. Her execution is set up so that she accidentally injures Fuyuhiko and has to feel the despair of hurting him before being killed. Peko is implied to have feelings for Fuyuhiko. She ultimately awakens from her coma.
- Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu (former) - The Ultimate Yakuza, and one of the key members of Ultimate Despair after being brainwashed by Junko. He and Peko slaughter millions, including members of the Japanese Diet, and he eventually loses his eye. After being captured by the Future Foundation and subjected to the Neo World Program, his brainwashing becomes undone. He starts off as arrogant and condescending to his allies, but after Peko's death, he becomes more compassionate and open towards others. He also cares about Peko as a human being and is so distraught that he even considers allowing Enoshima to take over Peko's body, just so he can see her one last time.
- Akane Owari (former) - The Ultimate Gymnast. She has a big appetite and is very friendly, but can also be pretty aggressive.
- Nekomaru Nidai (former) - The Ultimate Team Manager. He likes to talk about his feces a lot, much to the embarrassment and discomfort of others. He is close with Akane, and protects her from Monokuma. He is remade into a robot after sustaining a critical injury, and is eventually killed by Gundham Tanaka as part of a suicide pact. He ultimately awakens from his coma.
- Gundham Tanaka (former) - The Ultimate Animal Breeder. He calls himself "The Supreme Overlord of Ice" and refers to his four pet hamsters as "The Four Dark Devas of Destruction". He often talks about himself as if he is an immortal god, and is eventually executed for killing Nekomaru. He ultimately awakens from his coma.
- Hiyoko Saionji (former) - The Ultimate Traditional Dancer. She has a "Napoleon complex" and often bullies Mikan Tsumiki, but is close friends with Mahiru. She dies when Mikan slits her throat with a knife after she accidentally stumbles upon her murdering Ibuki. She ultimately awakens from her coma.
- Ibuki Mioda (former) - The Ultimate Musician. She is very wild and eccentric, but is also incredibly friendly. She dies when Mikan garrotes her with a piece of rope before making her death look like a suicide. She ultimately awakens from her coma.
- Mahiru Koizumi (former) - The Ultimate Photographer, and Hiyoko's only friend. She is murdered by Peko with a baseball bat as Peko holds her partially responsible for the death of Fuyuhiko's sister, Natsumi. She ultimately awakens from her coma.
- Mikan Tsumiki (former) - The Ultimate Nurse. She is clumsy and emotionally fragile, but also likes to help others. Mikan kills Hiyoko and Ibuki after becoming infected with the Despair Disease, which caused her to revert to her Ultimate Despair personality, and is ultimately executed by Monokuma. She ultimately awakens from her coma.
- Nagito Komaeda (former) - The Ultimate Lucky Student. Nagito always talks about Hope and Despair as opposing forces that need to battle it out. He becomes openly hostile when he learns that he and his friends were all part of Ultimate Despair and sets up his own murder so he can take everyone down. Chiaki Nanami (AI) ultimately takes the fall and is executed for Nagito's murder. He ultimately awakens from his coma and now has a robotic arm.
- Sonia Nevermind (former) - The Ultimate Princess. She speaks in polite tones due to her upbringing and has a crush on Gundham Tanaka. However, in her Ultimate Despair personality, she was rude, hot-headed and murderous. It is implied that she used her country's weaponry to trigger a nuclear war that destroyed the entire country of Novoselic.
- Teruteru Hanamura (former) - The Ultimate Cook. He has a very perverted personality and very odd interests. He ends up killing the Ultimate Imposter by accident and is the first one executed inside the Neo World Program. He ultimately awakens from his coma.
- Ultimate Imposter (former) - His real name is unknown, and he lives his life disguised as other people. He assumed the identity of Byakuya Togami in the Neo World Program and as a member of Ultimate Despair. He was the first murder victim in the Neo World Program. He ultimately awakens from his coma.
- Chisa Yukizome - Class 77-B's homeroom teacher, the Ultimate Housekeeper and one of Junko's moles inside the Future Foundation. She is friends with Kyosuke Munakata, who she is love with, and Juzo Sakakura. She is a motherly figure to her students and plays a role in uniting them. She is brainwashed by Junko and helps her murder Chiaki Nanami. Infiltrating the Future Foundation, she becomes one of their leaders and gleefully commits murder while deceiving the others, slowly breaking Munakata and causing him to lose hope. She is the first casualty of the Final Killing Game after being brainwashed into commiting suicide.
- Kazuo Tengan - The Ultimate Headmaster and one of Junko Enoshima's moles inside the Future Foundation. After being brainwashed by Chisa Yukizome and becoming a member of Ultimate Despair, he sets up the Final Killing Game in order to make his protege, Ultimate Animator Ryota Mitarai, fall into despair and thus convince him to brainwash the entire world into a state of eternal hope, thus creating a false utopia in which Tengan and the rest of Ultimate Despair can rule over all. He is murdered by Kyosuke Munakata during the Final Killing Game and his evil plan is ultimately foiled by the former Remnants of Despair.
- Monaca Towa (former) - Formerly known as the Lil' Ultimate Homeroom, and the leader of the Warriors of Hope, Monaca faked paralysis until the Warriors of Hope disbanded. Monaca then tried to become Junko's successor, but found it boring. Monaca observed the events of the Final Killing Game until she was caught by Toko Fukawa and Komaru Naegi. Monaca then launched herself into space, saying that it is where she will live from now on.
- Warriors of Hope (unofficial) - Founded and formerly led by Monaca. Members include: Kotoko Utsugi, Nagisa Shingetsu, Jataro Kemuri and Masaru Daimon. They were all abused by their parents, and hated all adults, referring to them as "demons". They were manipulated by Junko and Monaca, and went into hiding after Monaca betrayed them.
"Naegi's" words about Ultimate Despair:
- "There was one who went without food to experience the delight of hunger, until only a leathery husk of a person was left..."
- "There was one who offered up their parents to Enoshima to use for experiments on murder..."
- "There was one who slaughtered innocent civilians and forced them to kill themselves as a tribute to the dead Enoshima..."
- "There was one who took Enoshima's eye from her corpse and put it into their own bloody socket. I wonder if they wanted to be able to see her despair?"
- "There was one who wanted to bear Enoshima's descendants and so took from her body-"